Speaking today on the United States House of Representatives floor, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) discussed how a committee markup of legislation dealing with reauthorization of USA PATRIOT Act provisions was terminated so the final bill could be drafted in a “backroom” by parties including “lobbyists and the deep state” and then rushed to the House floor for a vote.
Massie explains in his speech that the bill to be considered today on the House floor — much sooner than regular House rules prescribe — will violate US Constitution protections, including protections in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments related to warrants, due process, and probable cause. Masse further describes the bill as promoting the use of “star chambers and kangaroo courts” that fail to protect individual rights.
Allowing the regular committee process to proceed, asserts Massie, could have permitted light to be brought to problems of the legislation, as well as allowed the adopting in committee of amendments that would reduce or eliminate those problems. And, of course, allowing more time for the legislation to be reviewed before a vote, instead of speeding up the process, would have given House members time to read and understand the faults of the legislation and given constituents time to learn about the bill and contact their representatives in opposition.
Watch Massie’s House floor speech here:
The process Massie describes in his speech brings to mind the similar manner in which the original PATRIOT Act was drafted and quickly pushed through the House.
Massie is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.